Our Rhody Votes 2016 coverage continues, with a look at Ballot Question 2, the Rhode Island Ethics Commission Amendment. It asks voters whether to restore the Commission’s jurisdiction over General Assembly members. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Politicians love to say that elections matter. Except when some of them don’t like the results. RIPR Political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why two veteran Democratic lawmakers won’t accept their primary defeats.


The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island is opposing a move to increase ethics oversight at the state legislature. A ballot measure would restore some powers to the state Ethics Commission.

The Ethics Commission is a body tasked with investigating complaints of corruption, abuse of power, or potential conflicts of interest in state and municipal government.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Longtime North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi faces a challenge from fellow Democrat Kristen Catanzaro in Tuesday's primary election. The race is the hardest-fought mayoral contest in this week’s election.

On a recent afternoon, North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi showed off 19 acres of forested preservation land at Camp Meehan, near the town’s border with Smithfield. Sunlight gleamed nearby on the blue water of the Wenscott Reservoir, a scene so bucolic you’d never know that busy Mineral Spring Avenue is only about a mile away.


Voters head to the polls Tuesday for primary elections in Rhode Island, and one of those primaries will fill a House seat formerly held by Ray Gallison. The Democrat resigned under a law enforcement probe likely to include legislative grants, given to an organization with Gallison on the payroll. Rhode Island Public Radio Political Analyst Scott MacKay discussed the race with News Director Elisabeth Harrison.

State legislators received scores based on their voting record on issues like land and water conservation, renewable energy, and transportation. The Environmental Council of Rhode Island, a coalition of local environmental organizations, said there’s room for improvement.

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian has emerged as one of the most durable Republicans in Rhode Island politics. He’s running for re-election again this year, and stopped by our studio yesterday to discuss a wide range of issues. 

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Jeff Padwa, the chief of staff for general treasurer Seth Magaziner, is headed back to the private sector.

Padwa is joining the politically well known firm of Darrow Everett as a partner.

John Bender / RIPR

State lawmakers and local supporters showed up Thursday for the opening of the Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters in Providence. Many of the state’s Democratic leadership, including Governor Gina Raimondo are backing the former Secretary of State.

Warwick resident Justine Lutzel-Caldwell voted for Clinton in 2008 and favors her positions on women’s health.

The head of the Episcopal Church in Rhode Island is part of a group of Episcopal bishops raising concerns about divisive rhetoric in the presidential election. The bishops have issued a rare, unanimous statement condemning “violent forces” that are turning Americans "against their neighbors."

Bishop Nicholas Knisely of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island gives the example of crowds threatening to riot if their candidate is not elected, or politicians who blame a small group for the problems of the larger society.

Proposed Bill Aims to Prevent Head Injuries in Softball

Feb 29, 2016

Softball isn’t often in the news for causing head trauma, but local lawmaker Eileen Naughton thinks that is an oversight. The Democratic Representative from Warwick introduced legislation last week requiring Interscholastic League pitchers, first basemen and third basemen to wear protective facemasks.

Naughton is herself a former high school softball player, and she says that while people pay more attention to women’s sports than they did in her youth, dangerous injuries in girls’ athletics are still not getting the attention they deserve.

John Bender / RIPR

Voters head to the polls in New Hampshire Tuesday to pick presidential candidates in the New Hampshire primary. Dozens of Rhode Islanders have been trekking to the Granite State to help candidates from both parties make their case.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Following the announcement that the Pawtucket Red Sox would not pursue a new stadium on a parcel of downtown Providence land, Pawtucket’s mayor Donald Grebien joins our Political Roundtable. He talks about sagging numbers at McCoy Stadium, economic development in the city, and the Pope’s U.S. visit.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org


The executive director of the state’s Board of Elections could face termination, if he doesn’t improve his job performance. The board voted to put director Bob Kando on a probationary period in June. The group chose to disclose the vote at their meeting this Wednesday

Board of elections member Stephen Erickson says among several issues, the board felt Kando did not comply properly with ethics laws.

Katherine Doherty

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo took the ice bucket challenge Tuesday afternoon on the Statehouse steps. Alongside half a dozen Rhode Island politicians, Raimondo dumped more than three gallons of icy water on her head to raise money for ALS research.

The ice bucket challenge is part of a national campaign to raise awareness about ALS and fund research for a cure. 

Raimondo took the challenge from Massachussetts Governor Charlie Baker. She has now challenged House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed to take up the cause.